Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is a common problem. Sometimes patients are consciously grindingly their teeth during the day as a result of nerves or stress. However, often bruxism occurs at night leaving patients out of control of their actions. This bad habit causes jaw pain, worn teeth, an even gum irritation. If you sleep with a partner, the noise can keep them awake through the night.
At Cormier Family Dentistry we see a lot of patients who grind their teeth at night. Fortunately for patients with this issue there is a simple solution: a night guard. We encourage our night grinding patients to invest in a night guard to provide a cushioned barrier between your teeth.
A night guards is similar to an athletic mouth guard. There are mouth guards available at any local drugstore. These night guard are often thick, ill-fitting, and can make it difficult to breathe while you sleep. These store bought guards also have a short shelf life, especially for heavy night grinders. At Cormier Family Dentistry we offer custom fitted night guards that fit the teeth closely and allow patients to breathe properly. These clinical night guards are designed with your overall oral health in mind.
Am I a candidate for a night guard?
We will examine your teeth at your next checkup to check for signs of wear related to night grinding. If you experience TMD symptoms or have any other jaw pain that you suspect is related to night grinding, report these at your next appointment. Generally if you grind your teeth at night, a night guard is strongly recommended to preserve your teeth and reduce stress on your joints.
We also recommend that those with bruxism take steps to correct the problem. This includes relaxation exercises to keep the jaw loose. We recommend refraining from activities that might aggravate your bruxism like chewing gum and gnawing on pens or pencils. We also find that reduction of caffeine intake and alcohol use relieves some cases of bruxism.
What is life with a night guard like?
A night guard does not provide much impairment to regular life and wearers adapt quickly to use. At your appointment we will take a mold of your teeth and send this mold to a lab to have your custom guard created. The night guard with fit your teeth snugly and comfortably. You will need to care for your night guard by brushing it regularly. Custom night guards are very durable and may last up to 10 years. Patients generally experience tremendous relief within the first few nights of wear.
If you suffer from bruxism or night grinding, and are interested in a solution, please visit our Shreveport office to discuss your options. While bruxism is common, chronic grinding–especially unchecked night grinding–can create lasting damage to your oral health. By seeking treatment for the condition you reduce your risk of developing TMD and preserve the health of your teeth and gums.
Call our office at 318-868-4072 to set-up an appointment today!